possibility of gps guidance

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szuu
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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by szuu » 22 May 2012, 01:04

tonyh0905 wrote:Assuming you can iron out the bugs, would this be a Drone 2.0 mod, or would it work on the 1.0 too?
for now it only works on 1.0 because that's the only drone i have (still waiting for the truly wide release of 2.0 :P) but of course it should also work on 2.0, and it will be easier and cheaper to build for 2.0 because it already has pressure sensor and compass.
USMCGecko wrote:I think what would be awesome is to pull up a Hybrid Satellite image within the Drone controlling app, and be able to just draw a line, circle, square or whatever free form shape you want on the screen around the area you want the drone to take, maybe have an altitude slider and something that will control the amount of times the drone flies that specified path before it returns to its originating position.
there are 3 options for the map type - street map, satellite and hybrid - like in google maps, because it all comes from google maps of course.
drawing a freeform line will be the next "level" after perfecting the current "go straight from point A to point B" control algorithm.
handling shapes other than lines is an interesting idea of even higher level (and they would have to be processed into lines with the given density). this might be a nice way to create high resolution photographic map of some area. especially that it's GPS so we know the camera coordinates and such footage could be stitched into a huge resolution map completely automatically. sounds great! :)
as for the altitude and other parameters, i think they could be defined separately from navigation paths, in the form of "flight plan", for example:
1. power on
2. wait for gps fix
3. take off
4. calibrate compass
5. climb to 40m (clear any possible obstacles on the route)
6. set camera target -> movement direction
7. set speed 5 m/s
8. travel to point A
9. descend to 20m (mission area)
10. set camera target -> point C
11. set speed 2 m/s
12. follow path from A to B (could be any shape)
13. goto point C
14. descend to 5m
15. set camera tilt +45 degrees
16. rotate 360 degrees
17. set camera tilt 0 degrees
18. rotate 360 degrees
19. set camera tilt -45 degrees
20. rotate 360 degrees (these 3 sweeps create 360 degrees low altitude panorama at point C ;))
21. set speed 5 m/s
22. climb to 40m
23. return to base
24. descend and land

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possibility of gps guidance

Post by USMCGecko » 22 May 2012, 01:54

The easier it is to use, the more people that will be able to use it.

szuu
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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by szuu » 25 May 2012, 21:42

oh, the joys of prototyping! :P

after the latest tweaks, gps started working pretty well and i was going to perform the hair-raising "return to base" test (by disconnecting wifi and letting the drone do whatever it wants :o ), then suddenly, the pressure sensor failed...
i guess it is because of the rather unprofessional way it is installed on the board - one of the "legs" may have lost contact with the chip ;) (btw. chip size is 5x5mm and soldering it is not very pleasant)
dead_bug.jpg
this is even more thrilling than "return to base" test - the drone fate depends on such tiny details that can break any minute (especially if they are prototypes, like my experimental hardware). this is even more true for autonomous control that is around the corner, where you can't even react when something start to break before your very eyes. it's like the mission to mars! 8-)
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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by tonyh0905 » 25 May 2012, 22:23

szuu wrote:oh, the joys of prototyping! :P

after the latest tweaks, gps started working pretty well and i was going to perform the hair-raising "return to base" test (by disconnecting wifi and letting the drone do whatever it wants :o ), then suddenly, the pressure sensor failed...
i guess it is because of the rather unprofessional way it is installed on the board - one of the "legs" may have lost contact with the chip ;) (btw. chip size is 5x5mm and soldering it is not very pleasant)
dead_bug.jpg
this is even more thrilling than "return to base" test - the drone fate depends on such tiny details that can break any minute (especially if they are prototypes, like my experimental hardware). this is even more true for autonomous control that is around the corner, where you can't even react when something start to break before your very eyes. it's like the mission to mars! 8-)
This gps mod sounds very exciting.

Do you see it being a diy project, like building a mirumod rc conversion, or is it too complicated for us mere mortals? If so do you have plans to start producing these yourself for retail?
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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by USMCGecko » 25 May 2012, 22:49

We have faith in Szuu!

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by szuu » 26 May 2012, 00:13

tonyh0905 wrote: Do you see it being a diy project, like building a mirumod rc conversion, or is it too complicated for us mere mortals? If so do you have plans to start producing these yourself for retail?
i don't plan to produce anything (except from software) but of course the full description will be published so anyone can build it (and sell to those who prefer ready-made upgrade kits).

is it easy to build and how does it compare to the well known miru mod or macgyver mod?

this is interesting question, because miru mod is based on almost the same hardware (variants of the ATmega microcontroller). this means, it should be even possible to run all this on the same board as the original miru mod. now the differences: my board has several sensors and chips, because that's how i designed it (having regard to the required functionality, parts availability, prices, etc). there is no ready-made board with these exact chips, someone has to purchase the parts and solder everything.
in contrast, what you purchase as macgyver mod is a ready-made arduino board, a general purpose "micro computer", that can be programmed to do anything, for example it can function as a rc mod for ardrone. "building" a rc mod just not really building a new circuit, just connecting few wires and that's all. anyone who can solder, can do it. but you pay extra money for the convenience of being able to build something just by downloading the software.

the same way, you could probably also build "my" mod by connecting some ready-made boards and it would be easier than making a board yourself. the best approach may depend on what features do you needs. for ardrone 1.0 you have to add pressure sensor and compass, but ardrone 2.0 does not need them. you can also add h-bridge for controlling high power leds. each of these components can sit on the main board or be a separate module purchased as a ready-made board. so you may prefer a custom board for 1.0 because it will be more compact (just 1 board instead of 3 or 4) but maybe a standard arduino board for 2.0 because the number of boards won't be so big anyway.

btw. the fact that noone really produces a rc mod for ardrone and all we have is the general arduino board, probably means that making custom boards for this market is not profitable. the same will be probably true for my mod, unless there will be more demand from people who prefer to use wifi devices and not RC. after all, the target group is not exactly the same, i'm interested in improving the drone without giving up the wifi, and gps is just one of the features.

interestingly, miru wants to add gps navigation to the rc mod (but probably without the touchscreen-goodies as he focuses on RC) and my goal is to make an universal mod that can handle any hardware you could connect to a drone, so you will be able to interface a RC receiver, too.
starting from different positions and having different goals, we are slowly approaching very similar solutions :)

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by tonyh0905 » 26 May 2012, 15:43

Thanks for the comprehensive reply :)

I have always been a big fan of the rc mod, I much prefer the feel of physical sticks when flying the drone. I think miru's approach to addition of gps will be a great safety feature (especially as I love to push the limits with high altitude flights!).

Your approach on the other hand seems to hold much more potential, and versatility. The scenario you laid out above, with setting waypoints, getting a 360' panorama, and then returning to base is mind blowing :)

To begin with the thought of making my own rc mod was too daunting, so I bought a MacGyver mod. Unfortunately I had some serious problems with this, which in the end required me to replace the Arduino board. I had a lot of help from Miru and others, but in the end got the mod working perfectly. I now have the confidence to attempt to build the gps mod myself, and look forward to the challenge of doing so, when the clever people like yourself and Miru have done all the hard work :)

Thanks for all your efforts, and I look forward to your future success!
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possibility of gps guidance

Post by USMCGecko » 26 May 2012, 16:31

I on the other hand am completely lost with arduino boards and programming and all that. I love to fly my drone. But a plug and play gps mod would suit me best.

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by nestergaard » 26 May 2012, 18:44

USMCGecko wrote:I on the other hand am completely lost with arduino boards and programming and all that. I love to fly my drone. But a plug and play gps mod would suit me best.
I second that :)

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by szuu » 26 May 2012, 20:46

mission accomplished!
today, for the first time, the drone has returned to me in reaction to quitting the ipad application.

the emergency return procedure first waits a few seconds holding the drone in place (giving you a chance to come closer and regain control), then it navigates to the last known controller location (or the start location if the controller does not send gps information) and finally, descends to 1,5m above ground level (so you can catch it if your controller still cannot communicate).

(actually, the final stage has failed and the drone submerged in high grass, grinding the stems and crashing, but i believe that's because of the excellent, crash-tolerant grass, which is almost invisible to the ultrasound altimeter :P)
but what's important, the navigation worked well, proving that the drone can drive itself to a distant location, outside of the wifi range 8-)

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by Tizzy » 26 May 2012, 21:16

congrats, if this becomes stable I'll be one of the first to get on board be it dyi or package deal. Well done!!

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by ziggy95 » 31 May 2012, 09:07

I am ready to follow you in this adventure when it will works for ardrone 2.0

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by Schlauncha » 31 May 2012, 18:31

How about you install the RC mod, but with a gap in between the arduino and the rc receiver, and in between you put one of these:
http://www.readymaderc.com/store/index. ... cts_id=758" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I use that in my r/c airplane and you flip a switch, and off it goes, tracing GPS waypoints. It may be possible to adapt it to work with the AR Drone, although the arduino may need slightly different programming (such as to keep it moving forward more like a plane).

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by szuu » 31 May 2012, 19:43

Schlauncha wrote:How about you install the RC mod, but with a gap in between the arduino and the rc receiver, and in between you put one of these:
http://www.readymaderc.com/store/index. ... cts_id=758" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
interesting twist :D
yes, i'm sure this should work, but of course this autopilot module is designed for "dumb" planes so you pay for the things you already have in the drone (sensors, processor, gps connector (you have it in the arduino of the rc mod)) and the only new element is the gps module itself.
on the other hand, if it worked, this is something you can purchase and use right now, instead of waiting until someone produces a ready-made gps solution for ar.drone ;)

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Re: possibility of gps guidance

Post by tonyh0905 » 31 May 2012, 20:02

szuu wrote:
Schlauncha wrote:How about you install the RC mod, but with a gap in between the arduino and the rc receiver, and in between you put one of these:
http://www.readymaderc.com/store/index. ... cts_id=758" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
interesting twist :D
yes, i'm sure this should work, but of course this autopilot module is designed for "dumb" planes so you pay for the things you already have in the drone (sensors, processor, gps connector (you have it in the arduino of the rc mod)) and the only new element is the gps module itself.
on the other hand, if it worked, this is something you can purchase and use right now, instead of waiting until someone produces a ready-made gps solution for ar.drone ;)
My money's on you , Szuu....or it will be when you release the shopping list ;)

Ps. your dead_bug.jpg looks like your drone has been assimilated by the Borg :)
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